Wales vs. Lebanon

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Wales 24 def. Lebanon 22

Match URL
Thursday, November 2nd, 2000
Kick Off
7:30 PM (local time)
David Pakieto
Stradey Park (Llanelli)
  Wales Lebanon
  24 22

Match Stats

Halftime Score 18 6
Penalties 8 11

Match Scoresheet

Tries   Iestyn Harris (2)   Hassan Saleh (2)
    Keiron Cunningham   Michael Coorey
    Wes Davies   Hazem El Masri
    Paul Sterling    
Goals   Iestyn Harris (2)   Hazem El Masri (3)


Fullback 1. Paul Atcheson 1. Hazem El Masri (c)
Wing 2. Paul Sterling 2. Samer El Masri
Centre 3. Jason Critchley 3. Hassan Saleh
Centre 4. Kris Tassell 4. Michael Coorey
Wing 5. Anthony Sullivan 5. Mohammed Abbas
Five-Eighth 6. Iestyn Harris (c) 6. Fady Elchab
Halfback 7. Lee Briers 7. Paul Khoury
Front Row 8. Anthony Farrell 8. Darren Maroon (c)
Hooker 9. Keiron Cunningham 9. Anthony Semrani
Front Row 10. Dave Whittle 10. Monah Elahmad
Second Row 11. Mick Jenkins 11. Sami Chamoun
Second Row 12. Justin Morgan 12. Eben Goddard
Lock 13. Dean Busby 13. Ray Daher
Bench 14. Wes Davies 14. Chris Salem
Bench 15. Paul Highton 15. Joe Lichaa
Bench 16. Garreth Carvell 16. Travis Touma
Bench 17. Chris Morley 17. Kandy Tamer
Coach   Clive Griffiths   John Elias

Match Report


The Wales inspirational captain Iestyn Harris, played a part in all the tries Wales scored in the match, scoring two tries himself and creating the other three, however his team were given a major fright at Stradey Park, Lanelli. Lebanon - crushed 64-0 by tournament second favourites New Zealand four days ago - claimed touchdowns either side of half time from centre Michael Coorey and winger Samer el Masri to eat away at Wales' 18-0 lead. And two tries in three minutes from centre Hassen Saleh during injury time brought Lebanon to within two points of the home side.

At 18-10 up Wales looked as if they could fall victim to a monumental upset, yet up stepped Harris dancing and weaving his way into space and sending substitute Wes Davies over for what turned out to be the match-clinching try. Wales though, will need to improve drastically when they tackle New Zealand at the Millennium Stadium next Sunday, otherwise the Kiwis could run riot.

Hooker Keiron Cunningham joined Harris in orchestrating Lebanon's downfall, but it was a poor overall display which posed far more questions than it provided answers over his ability in international football. Wales shaded the tri-count five to four and if Lebanon had coped better during the opening 20 minutes, then they could well have secured a famous victory.

Driving rain and a swirling wind made conditions difficult for both sides and with Lebanon having seen three players suffer hypothermia during the New Zealand defeat in Gloucester last Sunday, Lebanon could scarcely believe their bad luck on arriving at the ground. Given the miserable weather, it was surprising that a crowd of under 1500 actually turned out to witness Wales' second Group Two fixture, in the terrible weather.

Wales were quickly into their stride, Harris squeezing over in the corner for a try that required the video referee's verdict on seventh minute. There was no sign of how Lebanon would fight back just six minutes later when Harris setup a quick passing along the line saw wing Paul Sterling touch down wide out.

Harris lead again in the 20th minute, working his way over for another try, although once again he failed to land the difficult conversion attempt. It took Lebanon 23 minutes to get out of their own half, yet Wales quickly resumed normal service as Harris again bemused the Lebanon defenders and Cunningham claimed the try for Harris to convert.

Three minutes before the break though, Lebanon opened their account when Correy sprinted 30 metres to the line and skipper Hazem el Masri converted. Three minutes into the second half and Lebanon had further reduced their arrears. Wales' prop Anthony Farrell lost the ball in contact and Samer El Masri kicked ahead to score. The warning signals were flashing quickly for Wales, yet they could do little to life their game.

They made a succession of unforced errors until Harris produced a mesmerising break which Davies finished off by cutting the attacking line superbly. Harris' conversion looked to have made the game safe, but Lebanon were determined to finish with a flourish and they dominated the closing few minutes.

Saleh twice breached the Welsh defence in quick succession - Hazem el Masri converting both tries, but they ran out of time. It was a relieved Wales team that left the field following a display which started promisingly, but finished amid a total air of anticlimax.


This match is a part of the following:

Contributions: Cymru RL


Last modified: Tue, 27 Oct 2020 02:05:26 +1100 (Sydney time)